Wacom tablet

Over the past few years “tablet” has come to mean a mobile device you can use to surf the web, play games, and run other apps. But Wacom’s been making a different kind of tablet for years. The company’s “graphics tablets” can be hooked up to a computer and used by digital artists to draw and paint on a digital canvas.

But this year Wacom announced plans to offer a true mobile tablet which you could use to create art on the go — no separate PC required.

The company hasn’t said much about the tablet since March, but new benchmark tests that showed up at the GLBenchmark website could provide a few clues about the upcoming device.

The test results are for a device that appears to be called the Wacom Cintiq Companion Hybrid 13HD, although the name could just for internal use. Either way, it does suggest that the tablet has a 13 inch HD display.

While that’d make it larger than most tablets, a big screen would make sense for a model aimed at designers and artists.

GLBenchmark’s page also mentions a few hardware details:

  • Android 4.2.1 
  • 1920 x 1032 pixel display
  • CPU min/max frequency: 51 MHz / 1810 MHz

If the screen resolution looks funny, that’s because these test results usually don’t account for the Android menu bar, so we’re probably looking at a machine with a 1920 x 1080 or 1920 x 1200 pixel display.

As for the processor, MiniMachines notes that the frequencies suggest we’re looking at an NVIDIA Tegra 4 ARM Cortex-A15 quad-core processor.

That’d also be a smart move for a few reasons. Not only does NVIDA play up the graphics prowess of its mobile chips, but NVIDIA’s GRID computing platform lets you stream desktop PC apps from a Windows computer with an NVIDIA graphics card to a mobile device.

In other words, while it looks like Wacom’s mobile tablet runs Android, you may be able to use it to interact with full-blown Windows apps such as Photoshop, Lightroom, or other professional graphics software.

There’s still no word on a price or launch date for the tablet — and it’s best to take benchmark results spotted online with a grain of salt. It’s not that hard to fake these things. But there’s nothing unreasonable about the idea of a Wacom tablet with a Tegra 4 chip, a 13 inch full HD display, and Android software — especially if there’s support for using the mobile tablet as a graphics tablet for PC apps.

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27 replies on “Wacom’s upcoming mobile tablet could sport an NVIDIA Tegra 4 chip”

  1. What if the (probable) windows version is the new surface pro, that would be a good marketing stunt.

  2. I have no problem with android i do have a problem with not being able to use over 2000 dollars worth of software i have purchased.

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  5. I’m guessing they are going to have a cheaper ($400-$500) Android tablet and a premium ($1000+) windows version. Having had almost all the Android stylus enabled devices (Note 10.1, Lenovo Android tablet, Note 2) they are all disappointing for actual art creation. The input lag on Android is unbearable and so the a Windows version would be the only thing I would consider. I don’t really see how they could make a better Windows tablet than the Surface Pro or the Ativ Q so I’m cautiously optimistic about Wacom making a full on mobile tablet.

    1. I have a Note 2 and I have zero input lag.

      You should check background processes and try to clean up your device. Turn off all those background push things and GPS and other time + battery wasting things.

      That *should* be enough, as it works for me. However, there are different versions of the Note 2 (I have the international non-branded version – without any cellphone provider’s crapware). Some may have different processors, depending on geographic region.

      So, If the above doesn’t suffice, root it, install Titanium and start freezing crapware as well as Samsung apps you don’t need.

      1. Still not enough, as an example I have been using Sketchbook Pro for android on my Note 10.1 almost identical with Note 2 spec-wise, and for high resolution work it really starts to lag (even 1080p resolution bogs down the system). So it all still comes down to not enough RAM and also processing power. Aside from that there aren’t enough good professional grade apps available for Android, at least for now. We need a more powerful tablet with Windows 8 Pro for a really better mobile art experience…

  6. I wonder what will be the price point. Their current 13″ is around $1k. If they add Android and integrate a battery into it, the price will have to go up.

    1. Your conclusion sounds logical, however, OEM prices for the kind of hardware going into a tablet like this have plummeted since snoozy Wacom has done their last.

      And Wacom has to account for the fact that customers are well aware of this and furthermore can purchase 13″ convertibles with full Windows 8 Pro capability, including active digitizers, like Sony’s Duo 13 and Dell’s upcoming XPS11.

      I think it will be priced with a strategy to expand the market, to gain some volume. Depending how much they want to increase volume, I’d expect it between $500 and $900, which is still a nice surcharge for their digitizer and their software bits.

      1. I would order one in seconds if it were to be priced at $500. I haven’t seen Wacom aggressively price their products to move large volumes so I’m skeptical that it would be priced this low. In order to meet a sub-$1k price point, Wacom would either have to change the price for their Cintiq 13HD or the Hybrid would have to be built with reduce quality/less features. Otherwise, Wacom would destroy their 13HD’s value proposition.

        I hope that Wacom designs the Hybrid with the Intuos 5 stylus. The S Pen is functional and certainly provides pressure sensitivity. However, I’ve never felt it provided as natural a feeling as the Intuos 5 stylus. This would help differentiate the Hybrid from the Galaxy Notes and Windows 8 Pro tablets available today.

    1. I hope you’re right, and I thought the same thing when I saw the Windows 8 blue on the box in that cartoon.

      Then I signed up for email updates on Wacom’s site and noticed they use exactly the same shade of blue in their own marketing.

      My worry now is, that there’s going to be an Android version (which would be a pointless overpriced toy: Android’s great for phones but this should be something for professionals) and a generic thing with no OS that’s basically just the 13″ cintiq but with bluetooth. A step forward, but not the convenient portable professional tool everyone is hoping for.

      Or even worse, Windows RT or whatever they called the rubbish version of Windows 8 where nothing works (if they even still make it).

      If something sounds too good to be true, sadly it usually is…

      1. Prejudice.

        Android has quite a few good graphics apps available for different needs. And it isn’t a bloated hog like Windows, its small battery allowing you to sit in front of the Notre Dame for the entire day to paint it.

        And I assume you did not miss the fact that Tegra lets you use full fledged Windows applications on an Android system.

        Windows RT is a zombie. At this point, you’d have an easier time selling BeOS. It would be rude to expect Wacom to be that stupid.

        1. At this current time Android does not run the apps the professionals need
          to run in most professional pipelines. Zbrush, Mudbox, Photoshop, and
          Illustrator to name a few. Saying that there are “good apps” on Android is
          misleading in relation to professionals. It is a true statement but in the real
          world they are limited in function and at this time are not useful in most
          professional production pipelines. Being able to stream from a PC to the Tegra 4
          chip is nice but it mean to run those apps you are still essentially strapped to
          a laptop or desktop which kind of defeats the purpose of a tablet.

          RT is a zombie, I agree, but Windows 8 Pro is excellent and runs full scale
          production apps. There is no reason Wacom could not have a full Windows
          tablet.

          In regard to battery life. Power requires power. Simple as that.

  7. As a proponent of Android devices and a lover of Wacom’s previous Cintiq tablets I’m very excited to find out more about this. I really hope it has some serious Wacom digitizing hardware built into it!

    1. What else did you expect? Some competitor’s digitizing hardware?

      Wacom’s digitizers cut a rather nice figure in Samsung’s Note 2 and Tab 10.1, but extra size will certainly help, and I’m sure they’ll add extra software goodies to anything carrying the Cintiq logo.

      1. I just hope it’s got a decent number of pressure levels, not something low to keep the cost down.

  8. Could have been an interesting product but putting Android makes it a worthless bargain bin device. What a shame.

    1. yeah, but what if you can plug it in and use it like a cintiq with your main computer as powerhouse.

    2. More prejudice.

      Remember this will come without any carrier bloatware or facebook push updates. It runs faster and longer on less hardware than Windows.

      Calling it bargain bin without having seen it in operation or knowing the price makes you just a troll.

  9. If this is true then it is very disappointing. Everyone expected Wacom’s offering to be a beefed up Surface Pro (At a premium, of course). If this is accurate then I’m glad I jumped the gun and bought a Surface Pro instead since I can run Photoshop, Unity and Blender on it natively. There’s no way you can use Photoshop smoothly that way unless you are always on LAN and that makes this pointless.

    1. You’re not only jumping the gun on your purchases, but also on your posts. It helps to read the article before posting rants. ><

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